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    Two of Everything: Is it twice as hard having twins?

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Is it twice as hard having twins?

I often wonder what it must be like to have babies one at a time.

When ours were small I used to say to The Daddy how easy it must be, just having one, and he would point out that I wouldn't think that, were I actually in that situation.  He was right, after all he should know; he has two older children who are now 17 and 20.  However, he always says that having twins is much harder than having one, and also than having two of different ages.

6 weeks old

I'm not sure if it is twice as hard.  That's too simplistic; there's more to it than that.  Yes, there are twice as many nappies to change, twice as many bottles to prepare, feed, wash and sterilise, and twice the laundry, but you can get most of that if you have two who are close in age.  What is hard is that you have two who are at the same stage of development, all the time.  So two who need help and support to learn to walk, two who need to listen to your speech so they can learn to talk too, and two who really don't understand that they have to share everything, including time with me.  These are the kinds of things which truly make me feel over-stretched and sometimes, just a little inadequate.

One thing I do find really hard is getting out and about.  The other week, for instance, I decided to let the children walk into the children's centre where we go to our twins' group, rather than getting the pushchair out for the 200 yards from the car.  Big mistake.  HUGE.  It wasn't too bad going in, as Little Miss decided she absolutely didn't want to walk, thank you very much.  So I carried her and Little Man wore his Little Life Backpack.  But when it was time to leave, Little Man wanted to walk very fast (aka toddler running/waddling, call it what you will) and Little Miss wanted to go  v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w-l-y.  So I'm walking along with my arms outstretched, trying to hold onto the reins.

They usually stay in the pushchair as much as possible, only getting out when they're in an enclosed area, like the park (fenced only, thank you) and the library (doors too heavy for them to push).  It does make me a little bit sad sometimes that I can't do things like taking them to feed the ducks - unless they're in the pushchair.  There is no way I could get two of them out near water like that, it makes me shudder just thinking about it!

The escape!
When they were little, there were a few times I tried to prove (mainly to myself) that I could do things all by myself.  There was the time I took them with me to have my hair cut, when they were about 5 months old.  It should have been fine, I booked the appointment to coincide with their morning nap and they would usually have about an hour.  But not this time.  Oh no.  They both decided to be awake and screaming, and I had to call in the cavalry (my dad, who luckily lives close by!).  One can not have one's hair cut and deal with two screamers at the same time...

A few weeks ago I read, with great amusement, a post by Jane at In a Different Voice.  She had received a rather nasty comment about twin mums thinking they are better than anyone else, and that we act like a 'twin mum mafia'.  Well first of all, how rude.  And secondly, I haven't come across many mums of singletons so far who haven't asked me how I do it, saying they can only just manage one at a time!  In her response, Jane has put together a list of 'The 10 Superior Skills of the Twin Parent'.  It is excellent, as are the comments!

Two at a time?  Piece of cake!!

But however hard it is, there are some things which are actually easier with twins, in my humble opinion.
- My babies have always slept brilliantly, even when we went on holiday for the first time a month ago, and I am convinced this is partly because they have each other right there all the time.
- My babies are quite happy to play without me, which means I can get on with things I need to!
- My babies are learning to share even though they are only 20 months old.  This is a hard lesson to learn and so, so difficult at this age when they haven't learned to empathise yet, but they are starting to do it and it's beautiful to watch.

It is a privilege to watch my twins' special bond blossom and grow.  I love being their mummy, however hard it is.

This is my post for the Multiple Mayhem Carnival, hosted by Heather at Young and Younger.


At 5 August 2012 at 20:30 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too true!!! My twins were born in Nov 2010 too and I can totally agree and could have written this about my own experience(apart from the sleeping well bit, which mine don't!!).


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